Another Human Rights trial In China
Three human rights activists seeking to expand legal rights and to encourage civic engagement in China by demanding disclosure of public officials' wealth and equal education for all children are on trial in Northeast China charged with illegal assembly. The illegal assembly amounted to a dinner the group hosted amongst themselves where they took pictures of themselves holding banners demanding reforms. As the New York Times reported yesterday, the trial of Liu Ping, Wei Zhongping and Li Sihua is "...a gauge of how far the Chinese Communist Party will go to stamp out the nationwide New Citizens Movement, which the three defendants supported." New Citizens Movement is the group that calls for greater reforms within China and according to Human Rights Watch, since March of this year, some 18 activists have been arrested in China for hosting dinner gatherings. Yesterday at the trial in Xinyu City, Jiangxi, Western diplomats monitoring the trial were denied entry to the Court. Raphael Droszewski, a first secretary of the European Union, along with diplomats from the US and Canadian embassies, were turned away by Chinese officials. How long will China continued to be offered a seat at the 'big games' with its current human rights record?